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Increase in prices of petroleum products is a breach of social contract – NPP

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The New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Wednesday said the recent increase in the prices of petroleum products by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government was a breach of social contract.

The NPP reiterated that President John Evans Atta Mills and the NDC Government had not been truthful to the people of Ghana against huge promises to reduce prices of petroleum products when they assumed power in 2009.

Addressing a press conference at the NPP headquarters in Accra, Dr Kofi Adda, Ranking Member for Parliamentary Select Committee on Energy said after the initial reduction in the prices of fuel at five per cent soon after taking over power, the NDC kept a steady increase in fuel prices hitting a cumulative 70 per cent since 2009.

“The NDC has consistently in all cases gone against its own 2008 Campaign promise as well as its manifesto declaration of ‘drastically’ reducing prices of petroleum products if voted to power,” the Navrongo Legislator said.

The NDC, he noted, had demonstrated by this recent increase that it had failed as a Government to keep its promises.

“It is our understanding in the NPP that politics should be practiced based on competition for the best ideas that should transform the country into a modern nation State,” he said.

Instead, he stressed, Ghanaians were bombarded with politics of deceit and propaganda which should not be allowed to continue in a fledging democratic Ghana.

Dr Adda said when the price of crude oil was $120 per barrel, Former President John Agyekum Kufuor resolved not to pass the burden to the consumers when there was a further increase in the price.

“Today with the price of crude oil within the range of $80 per barrel, the NDC administration is quick to point at global increase in the price of crude oil as one of the reasons for this recent fuel price increase,” he said.

“One shudders to wonder what will happen if the price of crude oil increases to $147 per barrel as pertained during the NPP administration,” he added.

Dr Adda said in 2010, the NDC Government announced that it had dealt with this problem by hedging on the prices of crude oil purchases to protect Ghanaians from increases in global prices of crude oil.

“If Ghanaians were indeed protected against any further price increase through this hedging, why are we so soon having to pay higher prices because of global price increases when indeed such has not been near 30 per cent,” he questioned.

He said “The NDC owed Ghanaians an explanation on why the hedging was decided upon as well as how it has performed since 2010. In this context it needs to be established whether we have gained or lost.”

Dr Adda accused government officials of giving conflicting figures on the actual Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) debt after two years in government.

He called on the Government to distinguish between the operations of TOR and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) over the mandate to lift crude oil for the refinery and efforts made to reduce the TOR debt.

Dr Anthony Osei Akoto, Ranking member for Parliamentary Select Committee on Finance, said during the NPP administration Ghanaians were given good reasons to justify petroleum price increases, adding that the NDC on the other hand, had not provided any good reasons for the recent price increases.

Source: GNA

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